Quarterback AJ McCarron helped orchestrate a 49-0 rout over Auburn on Saturday.… (Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images )
Five things to watch this week in college football.
1. Rutgers isn't joining the Big Ten Conference for two more years but appeared to unofficially check out of the Big East with Saturday's pathetic effort against Pittsburgh. Rutgers can make amends by clinching the Big East on Thursday against Louisville.
2. The Pac-12 Conference title game Friday won't be as diminished as last year's inaugural, in which 6-6 UCLA represented the South Division. This year's game is still strange, though, with UCLA playing at Stanford in a quick-turnaround rematch of Saturday's game at the Rose Bowl.
3. It has been quite awhile since the Mid-American Conference has had a bigger game to brag about than Friday's title game between Kent State (11-1) and Northern Illinois (11-1). Both teams are ranked in the top 20 of this week's Associated Press poll.
4. Cross your fingers and hope Nebraska (10-2) prevails in Saturday's Big Ten championship game in Indianapolis. A Wisconsin victory would put the Badgers in the Rose Bowl with five losses against the winner of Stanford-UCLA.
5: The Southeastern Conference was boxed out of the national title race only two weeks ago, but it's not boxed out anymore. The winner of Saturday's title game pitting Alabama and Georgia in Atlanta advances to play Notre Dame on Jan. 7 in South Florida.